Environmental constraints on the mode of symbiont transmission in corals

Baird, Andrew H., Yakovleva, Irina, Harii, Saki, Sinniger, Frederic, and Hidaka, Michio (2021) Environmental constraints on the mode of symbiont transmission in corals. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 538. 151499.

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Theory predicts that passing symbionts directly from parent to offspring should benefit the host by reducing conflict between diverse symbionts and benefit the symbiont by guaranteeing transmission. However, in some symbiotic associations, such as those between corals and algae of the family Symbiodiniaceae, vertical transmission is rare, suggesting a substantial cost. Here, we show that coral larvae which contained symbionts had lower survivorship than larvae of the same species that lacked symbionts when exposed to natural sunlight. Higher activity of antioxidant defenses and higher levels of oxidative cellular damage observed in symbiotic larvae suggest that reactive oxygen species, produced by stress on the photosynthetic apparatus of the symbionts, are responsible for these higher rates of mortality under solar radiation. We hypothesize that symbionts are a burden in the early life history of broadcast spawning corals under conditions typically experienced on the ocean surface during dispersal. This is one possible reason why species with an obligate pre-motile period of between 12 and 36 h very rarely have vertical transmission of symbionts, in contrast to species whose larvae are small or swim on release that often have vertical transmission of symbionts.

Item ID: 66997
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0022-0981
Keywords: Coral reefs, Life history evolution, Oxidative stress, Ultraviolet radiation
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC CE0561432
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2022 01:39
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3104 Evolutionary biology > 310405 Evolutionary ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1905 Understanding climate change > 190504 Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts) @ 100%
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